There is a remarkable, if rather grisly, relic housed in a glass case in the Santi Giovanni e Paolo – the 700-year-old preserved foot of Saint Catherine of Siena, the patron saint of nurses.
The attractive Campo Santi Giovanni e Pablo boasts no fewer than three important Venetian attractions, firmly establishing its status as a must-see location for visitors to Venice. Dominating the square on its eastern side is the powerfully built Gothic church for which the campo is named. Consecrated in 1430, it houses the tombs of no fewer than 25 doges, together with other Venetians of note, earning it the nickname “The Pantheon of Venice”. Though its mighty fronting certainly commands attention, the interior is more striking still, with a particularly lovely polyptych altarpiece by Giovanni Bellini.
More Than Just a Façade
On the northern edge of the square sits the stunning Scuola Grande di San Marco, whose gorgeous façade, one of the finest in Italy, is the combined work of three of the 15th and 16th centuries’ greatest architects. Intricately decorated in gleaming white marble, the façade’s unmistakable Renaissance flavor is given a distinctively Byzantine twist with its abundance of arches and niches, a combination of styles which is typically Venetian.
Standing proudly at the campo’s centre is a statue of Bartolomeo Colleone atop his horse - Venice’s only equestrian monument. Colleone was a mercenary commander who had fought bravely for the Venetians on many occasions, eventually becoming a rich man. He agreed to bequeath his fortune back to the city on the proviso that a statue of him be erected in St. Mark’s Square. The authorities, cunning to the last and with no intention of erecting a statue to anyone in their main piazza, simply took the money after his death, and placed the statue here instead.
Join the fastest growing community of professional tour guides.
Use our easy to integrate toolset to include Tours & Attractions in your customer journey.